The IMS Stela

“The IMS Stelae.”
Keith Merwin, Webmaster for the Institute of Maya Studies.

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In 1971, Ian Graham (shown below on the right) was shown a picture of a stela that was for sale in California. He soon recognized the piece as one he had discovered in 1962, while working at the site of Machaquila in Guatemala. With Graham's help, the Guatemala government was able to recover Machaquila's Stela 2 (shown below on the left).

In March of 1972, the very first IMS newsletter reported that Board Members had negotiated with Guatemala the loan, for the first time ever to another country, of the Machaquila stela to IMS and the Miami Museum of Science. 

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The Machaquila stela never made it to Miami. It became entangled in a precedent-setting criminal case on antiquities theft. In its stead, Guatemala sent Stela 24 from the site of Naranjo (shown on the right).IMAG0019 001



Stela 3 from Piedras Negras, which the Brooklyn Museum had agreed to return to Guatemala, also was sent to Miami, where it arrived in several pieces in September of 1972. (The picture below shows IMS directors, from left, Hal Ball,  H. Lewis Dorn , and Charles Lacombe, assembling the pieces of the stela.)

This is the story of three stelae, and the creation of an exhibit at the Miami Science Museum, sponsored by the Insitute of Maya Studies, called The Maya Plaza. 

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All meetings are at 8 pm • Institute of Maya Studies • Miami Science Museum • 3280 South Miami Avenue Across  from Vizcaya • Miami Science Museum • Maya Hotline: 305-279-8110

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Copyright 2012 The IMS Stela. The Institute of Maya Studies is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your charitable contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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